Archive for: January 2013

A Gloomy Future for South Sudan under the 2012 Political Parties Act!!

BY: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, JAN/31/2013, SSN;

Many still believe that the lack of unity remains a leading cause of the political instability in the nascent state of South Sudan. But this shouldn’t be taken to mean that South Sudan political parties have no history of ever coming together in the presence of an important purpose.

An example in case here is when all the two dozen or so different political parties were quick to unify under the umbrella of the All South Sudan Political Parties Forum for the purpose of the Self Determination referendum. It was this unity of purpose that paved the way for the smooth conduction of the January 2011 plebiscite that eventually led to the Independence from the Khartoum-based Islamic government.

Nonetheless it is worth pointing out here that although the many small opposition parties are often willing and ready than not to join the ruling SPLM in finding out common grounds needed to navigate the difficult political and socio-economic paths which the country found itself stalling through, it is unfortunate that these readiness and willingness have been largely taken for granted by the SPLM and at times they have been outrightly misunderstood as a sign of weakness, obviously driven by the grandiosity of being the party that waged the liberation war.

What followed after the January 2011 referendum was and is in fact inconsistent with the anticipated reaction from the SPLM especially in the light of the plebiscite’s outcome. As if to remind the other opposition parties about how they [SPLM] intend to not only marginalize these parties, but also to adopt an NCP version of mock democracy, the SPLM immediately resorted to what can be referred to as the “muzzling politics.”

In so doing it went on to unilaterally impose a widely rejected transitional constitution on the country in defiance of all the concerns raised by the other political parties, the civil societies and the women’s associations.

Today this embattled and a rightly controversial constitution has plunged the country into a lot of political and socio-economic chaos.

This constitution is better known for the fact that it gave the country’s president a free hand in almost everything in the country.

It is sad to recall that in a country that claims to respect the choice of the people, a handpicked SPLM dominated constitution committee members went on and gave the Head of the State an unquestionable right to dismiss elected State Governors, without necessarily having to publicly state out the reasons behind such a decision.

Today the Lakes State is the first to experience such a presidential move when H.E issued his infamous decree that dismissed the State’s first ever elected governor from office. Tomorrow it will be either another elected state governor or an elected MP, and since all are meant to be taking place in the name of constitutionality, then who is out there to challenge it?

To confirm the above point and to the disappointment of those citizens who took to the streets of Rumbek Town, the state capital to
demonstrate in protest of the decree, together with those opinion writers who criticized it in the various media outlets, it didn’t take long before the SPLM-dominated National Legislative Assembly [NLA] in Juba came out openly as usually is the case and rubber stamped the dismissal of the elected governor.

Precisely it has now become the pattern in the new country of South Sudan that any crude decision ever uttered by the Head of State which is often done in the absence of any broader consultations, will always receive a rubber stamp blessing from this good for nothing, SPLM-dominated National Legislative Assembly in Juba.

First they approved the Transitional Constitution in spite of all the undemocratic articles that were intentionally insinuated in the document with the sole intent of giving the the president, his executive and kitchen cabinets the uncontested upper hand in the country’s politics.

The same parliament was quick to approve the relocation of the country’s capital to a certain swampy Ramciel without any tangible
technical or financial considerations. It [NLA] was as well supportive of the unstudied shutdown of the country’s only source of revenue – the Oil Industry, without setting in place a plan B, hence the current economic dilemma.

This same parliament, as if to confirm its rubber stamp nature, it went on to take a lukewarm stand on the Panthou [Heglig] war and its aftermath.

It was also quick to endorse the 27th September normalization Agreement with the Sudan in the absence of any real commitment from either government.

Putting these entire behavior patterns together, one can NEVER miss seeing how the SPLM dominated National Legislative Assembly has become a tool in the hands of President Salva Kiir Mayardit for approving wrong policies in the country.

Thus any attempt to correct the status quo must start by fully holding to responsibility these MPs and the NLA as an Institution for their roles in promoting the current state of bad governance, impunity, corruptions, embezzlement and lawlessness.

Although all the above may be obvious for most South Sudan citizens to see, yet there are other hidden disasters to which both the SPLM leadership as represented in the government and those good for nothing NLA – MPs are parties to.

The most worrying and likely to reflect negatively on the political process in the country is none other than the South Sudan
political Parties Act – 2012 which was signed into law by the president of the State on the 24th March 2012.

Every person who considers himself or herself as a South Sudanese intellectual, and a concerned citizen for that matter together with those so-called friends of South Sudan plus the best wishers must all have had a shock at this Political Parties Act document since it is more of a document formulated primarily to obstruct the realization of the much anticipated democratic transformation in the country.

This undoubtedly controversial document was frankly speaking prepared by the members of the SPLM party who dominate the Ministry of Legal Affairs, like it does with the rest of the ministries, then passed by the party loyalist who also dominate the cabinet of ministers and was finally blessed by the NLA as expected in the sole belief of making it impossible for any other political groups to register as legal political parties in the country.

Otherwise how do we interpret the following articles in the Act?

The following persons shall not be members of any Political Party:

(a) Members of organized armed forces and law enforcement agencies;
(b) Justices and judges of the Judiciary of South Sudan;
(c) Legal Advisers and Public Attorneys the Ministry of Justice;
(d) Civil Servants at all levels; and
(e) Diplomats of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Which of these are in actual fact applicable to the SPLM party itself?

Are they really serious in what they have written for this country as Political Parties Act, in the absence of any line that separates the above mentioned categories from being not only loyalists, but frank members of the dominant SPLM party?

An equally important point to highlight here is, given the very high level of illiteracy in the country, and knowing very well that the above categories of citizens in fact constitute the bulk majority of the few educated people in the country, can it not be argued that by sidelining them from taking an active role in party politics is in fact to leave the entire political process to those who hardly read and write?

And below is how Political Parties shall be qualified to be registered if:-

I) It has recruited as members, not less than five hundred registered Voters from each of more than at least eight states;
ii) The members referred to in paragraph (a) reflect regional and ethnic diversity, gender balance, representation of minorities, youth and special category groups;
iii) The political party shall have in its national governing body at least one member from each state.
iv) The political party shall have branches in all ten states and is, in addition organized in not less than eight states.
v) The composition of its governing body reflects regional and ethnic diversity, gender balance and representation of minorities and special category groups;
vi) It has demonstrated that members of its governing body meet the requirements of the Constitution and the laws relating to ethics;
vii) Observes democratic principles in its political activities and respect the peaceful transfer of power;
viii) The means of achieving its goals shall not include the establishment of paramilitary forces;
ix) Not engage in or incite violence or promote hatred among ethnic, religious or racial groups in the Republic of South Sudan; and
x) Not be a branch of any Political Party outside South Sudan.

The articles that regulate the registration of the political parties can be for discussion purposes categorized into two groups. The first group includes those from (I) to (v). These five subsections taken individually or together they all testify to a fact that the SPLM elements within the Ministry of Legal Affairs have undoubtedly and with a premeditated intention exerted a considerable effort to make the registration process of the opposition parties near to impossible.

The number of members in each state, and the minimal number of states required in this Act are not realistic for the realization of
Multi-party Democracy in the country. And by the way who are those registered voters, in the absence of a national census yet to be
conducted, constituencies yet to be decided and the voters themselves yet to be registered?

Again to insist that every ethnic group and all kinds of disabled categories of citizens MUST be compulsorily included in the membership of each and every political party sounded indeed strange for it clearly requests political parties to go out there and look for all these people whether they are politically active or not, let alone if then in fact they would want to join that particular party or its leadership.

The second group is from (VI) to (X). This particular group of articles is the very things that are lacking in the ruling SPLM party. These last five where frankly violated by the SPLM throughout the period from 2005 until this very moment of this writing.

Is the SPLM party [whose officials came up with this document] ever known to have observed any democratic principles since its inception in 1983 or does it respect the peaceful transfer of power within the party? Does it in achieving its goals NEVER got involved in the establishment of paramilitary forces? If it doesn’t, then to whom do the killing squads in Juba and the other main towns belong to?

The SPLM may not be a branch of another political party outside South Sudan, but with the confirmation from the international community, including the US administration, and President Obama himself, all believe that the SPLM is still linked with the SPLM – North.

We heard the party denying that on more than one occasion, however although we would like to believe them yet we find it very weird why South Sudan’s ruling party is still referring to itself the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) at a time when the territory it now rules is no longer part of Sudan, but rather an independent country of South Sudan?

A big party like the SPLM now sixteen months after the Republic of South Sudan has gained its independence by a 98.8% of its popular
vote, people are left with unanswered question as to why this party that prides itself in having championed the liberation remains
unwilling to change its name as if to undermine its South Sudanese reality.

But here we are. The people of South Sudan are unfortunately still forced to live under these SPLM contradictions as long as we continue to blindly follow their unpredictable, incompetent and often non-transparent leadership’s. They will continue to take us for granted and push ahead displaying their weird taste for politics that forms the core of every law that they hand down to us.

Some misleading apologists will tell you that this Political Parties Act for 2012 comes at a time where South Sudan is having over thirty or so political parties. But this isn’t the case in the Independent South Sudan for all the common political parties that drew their membership from both the Southerners and the Northerners e.g. the NCP [Omer Bashir] – Umma [Saddig al Mahdi] – NIF [Hassan al Turabi] – PCP [Hassan al Turabi] – Sudan Communist Party – DUP [Al Mirghani], better known as the northern or national Sudanese political parties, have all ceased to exist in the new Republic of South Sudan..

With the exception of the SPLM parties, whichever political parties that exist to date in this new country are indeed indigenous in origin and agenda. And the fact that they insist to operate independently of the ruling & bulling SPLM deserves the appreciation of all those who cherish pluralism ad multi-party democracy.

It may be important to involve the international community at some stage in order to assist with the formulation of the various bills that are needed to establish a democratic society in South Sudan; however the true responsibility should squarely lie with the South Sudanese.

They have to be seen not only writing and reading articles about the realization of political pluralism in their country, but should also walk an extra mile of personal and group sacrifices in order to achieve this noble goal.

For how do we establish the tradition of using the ballot to peacefully transfer power, when the SPLM-formulated political parties
Act clearly signifies an obstruction to multiparty democracy on one hand and lays the foundations for the emergence of a one party state under a totalitarian regime.

The problem here is that instead of establishing a ballot oriented system, under this infamous South Sudan Political Parties Act -2012, we may be gradually reverting to those times when bullets determine everything.

Does anyone in the absence of multi-party democratic system still doubt the possibility of the nascent country reverting to the old days of voting with rifles given the current state of affairs in Jonglei, Upper Nile, Western Bahr al Ghazal, Unity State coupled with the widespread disillusionment within the ranks and files of the SPLM and the SPLA? Is this so-called 2012 Political Parties Act not a clear recipe for the ‘Jongleisation’ of the whole country?

To save our country from these risky political uncertainties, we need to see to it that this so-called 2012 Political Party Act is
immediately repealed and replaced by a set of laws free of any hidden agenda.

We need a new set of laws that should clearly allow for the easy establishment of political parties unlike the current Act which
undoubtedly if not revoked will only promote the proliferation of regional, tribal and all kinds of militias, precisely as the only
potential political outlets for the numerous disgruntled political groups.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General – United South Sudan Party [USSP]. He can be reached at: justin_ramba@aol.co.uk or
justinramba@doctors.net.uk

International Community for South Sudan is a misnomer

BY: KUIR E GARANG, ALBERTA, CANADA, JAN/31/2013, SSN;

South Sudanese leaders think they have a friend in the so-called ‘International Community.’ I don’t know whether I’m deluded or they’re naïve. What is ‘International Community’ (IC) anyway? What’s it? An organization? A group of nations? A benevolent person? United Nations? Excuse you me! There is no such a thing as a caring, listening ‘International Community.’

The so-called International Community is a bunch of self-interest-driven power-players; self-proclaimed ‘saviours,’ who hide their vested interests and ulterior motives in the cliched mantra of ‘helping’ the THIRD WORLD. No country in the world, and I mean no country, has ever put its state’s interest secondary to the interest of any state function. You’re as good as their interest!

We delude ourselves in the thought that United States, European Union and Israel, are our friends. No, they are not! They are our ‘friends’ as long as we remain relevant to their interest. (Remember I said their interest not them). We are as good as their interest in us is contemporary and beneficial.

The ‘free world’ dreads Chinese human rights records almost everyday, but they still bow down in front of China when it comes to economic enterprises. Canadian oil company, Nexen, is being taken over by Chinese state-owned CNOOC Ltd. Remember, CNOOC is state-owned not private; something the West would normally fear as communist or socialist. Why is this happening? Interest, monstrous capital interest!

However, the so-called ‘West’ is good at playing amiable friend, selectively… that is. Beshir continues to butcher the people of Darfur and what does the ‘International community’ do? Nothing! Oh, IC helped indict him (Through International Criminal Court in The Hague) for a number of counts but… hey Jack, Beshir is still free!

Somalia remains a failed state and what does the ‘International Community’ do? Nothing! Oh, they arm Ethiopians because who’d want to die for Somalia after ‘Black Hawk’ was downed? Fellow Africans, perhaps!

Now, people are displaced as some are dying in Southern Kordofan and Southern Blue Nile and the presumably ‘moral’ and ‘liberal’ Obama, the leader of the ‘FREE’ world, refuses to declare (or support) a no-fly zone in Sudan. France, supported by other ‘Western’ nations,’ is pounding on Mali to ostensibly help Malians from the would-be Taliban-type Islamic Extremism. How kind of them? Why is no one pounding on Khartoum on behave of the suffering Sudanese?

Something has to be remembered with the so-called ‘West.’ When Hitler was killing Jews, other minorities and disabled people in Germany, many Jews who fled Germany in search of refuge were refused entry into Canada and the US. Even when they knew these people were being butchered like flies by Hitler and the Nazis.

It is a great shame Canada and US never recovered from. You can understand why Canada, the US and Europe support Israel even when Israel commits unspeakable atrocities against helpless Palestinians. They are overcompensating for the shame of the past. It’s not that they care about the Jews!

Besides the sins of the past, Israel is becoming a strategic excuse and a political, Western eye in the Middle East. To maintain the status quo, or the pseudo-Darwinian racial ladder, an excuse that should be used to intimidate weaker states had to be maintained.

When (Information minister) Mr. Marial Benjamin appeals to the IC on behave of the South Sudanese government, he has to know that he’s talking to a political vacuum. If you have nothing to offer, you’re as good as a noise maker.

When (Legal affairs minister) John Luk Jok blames the ‘International Community’ for the constant failure of the nauseating and unproductive meetings between president Kiir and president Beshir, he has to know that he’s talking to people who put their interests first. Your interest should be a beneficial subsidiary for them to take you seriously.

The American mission in Juba is basically a business enterprise. However, the Americans play their cards really well and it takes a keen eye and mind to get the gist of the American imperialist machination. Don’t implement everything they say, but don’t overtly reject their suggestions. Play them before they play you! Like some smart boys are playing them really good!

So, the next time any South Sudanese leader wants to appeal to the IC, s/he has to narrow down the targets. Even with the narrowed down specificity, say, United States or Canada, s/he has to know US and Canada have their own interests, first. And these interests are the impetus for whatever they do in the world. Remember the Nexen example above.

They are not our friends but they play it, theatrically, well. They’re your business partners; take it that way! Just ask yourself.

Would the US help South Sudan for the sake of helping? What’s so special about South Sudan that the ‘West’ would prefer it over The Republic of Sudan? Don’t anyone cite Islam because US has many Islamic nations that’re staunch allies? And this alliance is, still, interest-based.

South Sudan has to go about its business as if no one cares about its affairs. What drives other state ‘care’ is economic interest not humanitarian feelings. We have to therefore see everyone as a business or a potential partner; someone with an interest.

For the ‘West’ or the US to pressure Beshir, there has to be something put in place for that pressure to be possible. Asking the African Union is like beating a dead horse.

The saddest part of the whole affair is we lack innovative leaders, who can come up with forceful grounds affecting to the Sudanese government and enticing to the interest, prone ‘West.’ Whining has become a political culture in Juba.

We need to act like a government, not some young boy hiding in the protection of his older brother, the Christian West.

There is no such a thing as ‘International Community.’ You are on your own unless you have something to offer.

Kuir e Garang is a South Sudanese poet, author and independent publisher living in Canada. For more information, visit www.kuirthiy.info or http://thenilepress.com. You can also follow Kuir on twitter: @kuirthiy

Where does Lakes state belong?

BY: Abraham Daljang Maker, Kampala, Uganda, JAN/30/2013, SSN;

It has been a while without writing any piece because the situation in South Sudan is not favoring us journalists. However, the dire situation in Lakes state has forced me to break the silence at last so that I can speak up and see if my opinion can make some sense in the minds of the readers, the politicians and policy makers.

The question as to where does the Lakes state belong can be answered in various ways by different people in all walks of life, but to me, Lakes state does not only belong to Lakers alone as you may think. It belongs to all the ten states of South Sudan, to you and me; amazingly, it also belongs to Kenyans, Ugandans, Tanzanians and Congolese.

Ask why and I can tell you that all those people that I have mentioned reside in that state and anything that affects it also affects all of them as well. As the saying goes, “what affects the eyes also affects the nose.”

That means, any slight effect in one of the ten states in South Sudan is affecting the entire country. We should therefore be careful so that if anything goes wrong in one state, we should raise our voices and efforts to reach in to the solution to that problem.

The event which unfolded on Friday 18 January 2013 in Rumbek town has prompted me to open my mouth and tell everyone that something is wrong in the entire country not only in Lakes state, it should be addressed before it leads to incurable cancer. The gun battle between the two clans in Rumbek center was not a minor problem as one can imagine.

Women, children and the elderly were horrified and alarmed, they were running helplessly as the so-called cattle keepers were shooting themselves among these vulnerable people. The whole atmosphere was engulfed with fear, anxiety and insecurity; it was not at all different from those days when we were still in the war.

As a journalist who loves the career and who does not want to talk of what I have not witnessed, I personally followed the soldiers to the battlefield where they were separating the warring factions. That was a dreadful risk I have ever taken because I would have been caught up by cross fire; but I had to see it so that I can tell it all.

I could not believe that these men were not even scared to see soldiers as it is supposed to be, instead they were determined to pursued their fighting despite the efforts of the soldiers to separate them, they were totally wild.

These armed cattle keepers are very dangerous not only to themselves but also to the national army. Some soldiers were wounded by them, a few days before the fighting in Rumbek; there was a report that seven soldiers were killed in Cueibet County of lakes state by the armed youth.

A report on Sudan tribune stated that unidentified gunmen lurk in teak plantation in Rumbek east and attacked soldiers leading to the loss of lives. Having seen all these, I would suggest that the both the state authority and national government should take this as a great concern to curb such crime in the country.

Seeing it as a state crisis or an issue that can be addressed by the state government alone is a terrible mistake. Comprehensive disarmament should be done with a collective effort form the two governments, I believe that disarmament was done long time but surprisingly, they are still having guns, meaning that there is a loophole somewhere where they get these machines, AK47 are not manufactured in cattle camps, not even in the whole country but you find that they [youths] still have them despite the disarmament.

This therefore calls for a serious investigation to find out who sales these guns back to them. There is also a need for the government and the NGOs to give these youth sensitization messages after they are all disarmed not only in lakes state but in other states where such vices are done, changing their mindset to developmental program will reduce such criminal acts.

There are always a lot of accusing fingers pointing toward the state government when such things occur, but I think we all have a role to play in order to stop these activities, the youth organizations like Lakes state youth union and Rumbek youth union have to regularly talk with these idle youths and remind them that fighting is not good for development.

Paramount chiefs and council of elders plus the state government and national government should work hard to make sure that there is a peace and tranquility in all the ten sates of South Sudan. Our main aim as a new nation is to have a constructive development but not destructive.

We have a lot of things to do as a country but if we keep on killing, thieving, corrupting, and divided then we shall not achieve what we our target. Let’s not prove to “our brothers” who were saying that South Sudanese cannot govern themselves, if they are be granted their autonomy.

Let’s show to the whole world that we value the freedom that we fought for; by focusing on developmental programs. Let’s not forget God who gave us freedom because God is love and if we love ourselves and support each other in times of happiness and crisis, then we shall thrive on well. United, we stand, divided we fall.

The writer holds Bachelor of Science in journalism from Nkumba University and he is pursuing Master of Arts in development studies from the same University.

Abraham Daljang Maker.
pursuing MA in development studies, Nkumba University
Bachelor of science in Journalism,
Nkumba University, PO Box 237 Entebbe Uganda.
Cell: +256774587529
+211955997112
E-mail: abraham12daljang@yahoo.com
Skype: daljang.maker94
Blog: wwwdaljang.blogspot.com

Unitary system of government is old fashion

BY: Jacob K. Lupai, SOUTH SUDAN, JAN/30/2013, SSN;

In The Citizen newspaper of January 20, 2013 – Vol. 7. Issue No. 351 page 7, a fellow columnist and a prolific writer, William Sunday D Tor, argued eloquently for the adoption of a unitary system of government in South Sudan in the year 2013 as opposed to a decentralized or federal system. Some of the disadvantages of a federal system mentioned include tribal and regional tendencies citing as an example landownership where citizens from other states are denied the right to own land. This is arguable because there are legal ways of acquiring a piece of land.

For the acquisition of a piece of land one has to submit an application to the authorities concerned and follow it up persistently like anybody else. William Sunday D Tor also alleges that the federal system has created economic and development problems to South Sudan. In his view a unitary system will be a solution or the solution. He calls for the current decentralized system of government to be abolished. What can only be said here is that William Sunday D Tor is entitled to his view like anybody else.

Unitary system
A unitary system of government may be defined as a centralized system where decisions that are likely to affect the peripheries are taken. It is the centre that has the choice to implement whatever policies may be enacted. A typical example was the Arabisation and Islamisation policy adopted for the whole old Sudan. The then nine provinces of the old Sudan had very little input to the policy. The three southern provinces were in particular hard hit because on their own they would not have adopted such a policy. The only choice was to rebel.

The rebellion brought a decentralized system of government to the old Sudan. The three southern provinces were granted self-government as one southern region. This was in accordance with the principle of the revolutionary government of the day for the Sudanese people to participate actively in the decentralized system of government of their own country.

The southern region was decentralized into three regions corresponding to the former three southern provinces. Many who opposed the decentralization considered it as the division of the southern region into weakling regions which could not stand up to the might of the North. However, when the supposedly three weakling regions where further divided into ten states no uproar was observed as when the southern region was decentralized into three regions.

Those who had considered the southern region as divided into three weaklings missed something very important. The division was a blessing in disguise. The supposedly three weakling regions like the three southern provinces before jointly struggled as representing people of one destiny. The struggle ultimately led to the attainment of independence.

For the system of government in South Sudan various suggestions can be made. There is already one suggestion that a unitary or a centralized system should be adopted. Other suggestions could also be made. For example, a decentralized or a federal system could be suggested. First let a unitary system be considered.

A unitary system is for those who consider an absolute grip on power is appropriate in the interest of nation building. Diversities may not be recognized as when Arabisation and Islamisation were imposed on the three southern provinces. In a unitary system there will always be one ethnic group or a region dominating in the affairs of the nation.

In the old Sudan the northern region in contrast to eastern, central, southern and western region was always dominating in the affairs of the country. In the defunct southern region one ethnic group out of over 60 ethnic groups was dominating. The high executive council was composed of 50 per cent of people from the one ethnic group.

How a unitary system could be seen as promoting unity when a region or an ethnic group would be dominating is an open question. The unitary system in the old Sudan was a failure and there is no guarantee that it will not be a failure in South Sudan.

After decades of experiment the unitary or centralized system was a failure in the former Soviet Union. Probably aware of the failure of a unitary system in addressing diversities, the transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011, Article 47 stipulates clearly that South Sudan shall have a decentralized system of government.

However, in practice the system seems to be more of a unitary than decentralized system which to some extent fulfills the hope for a unitary system of government in South Sudan in the year 2013. The states are not empowered to collect taxes as expected in a decentralized system for development. Collection of taxes has been centralized which is causing some states, for example Central Equatoria, to suffer acutely from lack of revenue.

Decentralized system
Article 47(a, b) confirms a decentralized system of government in South Sudan. It can be seen that the main objective of a decentralized system is to bring the government and services closer to the people. It is difficult to see how a decentralized system disunites people when the focus is to bring services for a high standard of living.

What really disunites people is high level of corruption and deliberate inequitable sharing of power and wealth as a result of tribalism contrary to nationalism.

Theories of top-down and bottom-up approaches may be helpful. A top-down approach may represent a centralized system where unquestionable compliance is expected. In contrast a bottom-up approach offers a wider participation of people in managing their own affairs and this may be likened to a decentralized system.

As a development practitioner I am baffled when people think of a decentralized system as divisive which means people are divided. This is flaw thinking. A decentralized system of government is one that divides the powers of government between the national government and state, and local government. From this definition there is nowhere shown that a decentralized system divides the people. It should be understood that a decentralized system only divides powers of government but not the people.

Under a decentrslised system, each level of government has sovereignty in some areas and shares powers in other areas. Both the national and state governments should have the power to tax but only the national government can declare war. A decentralized system of government is an appropriate compromise in nation building and development. It is only the poor implementation of a decentralized system that may be divisive.

There is worldwide support for a decentralized system because the decentralized system enables a nation to have the best of both worlds, those of shared rule and self-rule. The decentralization of power gives a nation the flexibility to accommodate economic and cultural diversities.

A decentralized system is more democratic than a unitary system because there are more levels of government for public opinion to affect. By dividing sovereignty, the decentralized system of powers reduces the risk of authoritarianism as may happen in a unitary system.

People must understand that a decentralized system is central for development. Without appropriate governance structures at the local level it will not be possible to generate, for example, sustainable rural development for a high standard of living. Through commitment decentralization will provide more effective and efficient government as well as an improvement in the quality of the services delivered.

In a decentralized system the local authorities know the needs and options, and they are therefore in a better position to establish the right priorities than the national government far away. Devolution of powers, responsibilities and resources to the local government in a decentralized system will promote better service delivery. Devolution of powers will likely deepen democracy and enhance the legitimacy of political system in promoting peace and prosperity in a diverse country like South Sudan.

Unitary system old fashion
A unitary system has become old fashion. Ethiopia, our next door neighbour to the east, had used a unitary system throughout most of its history when it was ruled by kings or emperors but in modern times opted for a decentralized system. The constitution of Ethiopia establishes a federal and democratic state structure whereby the Ethiopian State is called the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Has the decentralized system weakened Ethiopia? It is an open question.

The United Kingdom which was the mother of unitary system throughout the ages has now devolved powers from the Parliament of the United Kingdom to the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly and to their associated executive bodies such as the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Executive. The decentralization of power by all means has not weakened the United Kingdom.

From the above two scenarios it can be seen that indeed a unitary system is old fashion.

Conclusion
Adopting a unitary system of government for South Sudan will be a disaster because the real effect will be disunity. South Sudan is large and diverse that a unitary system is unlikely to cope with mounting challenges. The perceived high economic cost of a decentralized system is incorrect. The real problem is corruption which causes billions to be squandered. The squandered billions could have addressed the worries about the assumed high economic cost of a decentralized system.

The hope for a unitary system of government in South Sudan in the year 2013 will only remain a hope for the foreseeable future because people have moved on. Dr John Garang de Mabior did not abolish the decentralized system of South Sudan into ten states. Instead he went on to create counties, payams and bomas in line with a decentralized system of government for effective and efficient service delivery to the people.

In conclusion, a decentralized system should be understood as division of power but not the division of people so that they are disunited. South Sudanese had struggled together to achieve independence as people of one destiny although they were from different provinces, regions, states and ethnic groups.

How on earth is decentralization going to disunite them when the struggle is not yet over? The struggle continues for a peaceful and prosperous South Sudan where no one is seen above the law. This is one major way of guaranteeing unity.

Kokora: Often misunderstood, grossly misinterpreted and most feared

BY: Jacob K. Lupai, South Sudan, JAN/28/2013, SSN;

The word Kokora is neither English nor a Latin word. It is therefore difficult to find its definition in any English or Latin dictionary. The word Kokora is only found in the language spoken by Karo, the natives of Central Equatoria State. The Karo include the Bari, Pojulu, Nyangwara, Mundari, Kuku and the Kakwa. May also be included among the Karo are the Mundo, Keliko and the Lugwara in Yei River and Morobo County respectively, and the Lokoya in Juba County. Although the Mundo, Keliko, Lugwara and the Lokoya have their own languages, they are also well versed in the Karo language.

The word Karo is a collective name or noun for the Bari, Pojulu, Nyangwara, Mundari, Kuku and the Kakwa as sub-groups of the whole (Karo). Karo as a collective name has not yet been endorsed or adopted by the sub-groups. However, it will not do any harm to use it when referring collectively to the Bari, Pojulu, Nyangwara, Mundari, Kuku and the Kakwa as a way of showing their affinity.

The Karo can be seen as ethnic groups that are closely related to each other by language and culture. They could have been one single ethnic group but probably migration trends in search of resources and space might have caused the Karo to spread far and wide, dividing up into smaller groups.

However, the spread of the Karo to the various areas seems to have not affected their language very much although there appears to be some variations in accent. Nevertheless, the Karo still share the same traditions, for example, in naming new born babies. There is a lot of commonality in folklore. In brief the Karo can be considered as one ethnic group where the word Kokora is only found in their language.

Definition of Kokora
The definition of the word Kokora may help stimulate an intellectual debate for a better understanding. This is because the word Kokora has often been misunderstood, grossly misinterpreted and the most feared as being divisive. I must admit that I have not come across a Karo dictionary that offers the definition of Kokora. However, it is not difficult to define what the word Kokora means.

In simple terms, in the Karo language, the word Kokora means divide or division. The question to ask is what is to be divided. There must be a context in which division takes place.

In a patriarchal society when a parent passes away the sons inherit the property of their late parent. The property is divided (Kokora) equitably among the sons of the late according to their seniority. Also, when hunters in a team effort killed, for example, a buffalo, the meat is divided (Kokora) among the team members. In both contexts, dividing the property and the meat is for the benefit of the stakeholders. There is no indication that dividing the property and the meat is to the disadvantage of any of the stakeholders.

Common sense shows that Kokora offers a fair deal when people are in a positive frame of mind.

Kokora is in daily use but people seem to be unaware. Division of labour for maximum benefit is Kokora of labour. Also, people may not know that taking towns to villages is Kokora of resources so that neither village nor town is deprived of development.

When South Sudanese voted overwhelmingly in the referendum in January 2011, they were in fact voting for Kokora. Did that mean the people of South Sudan and Sudan were enemies? The people of South Sudan only hated the oppressive system but not the entire population of Northern Sudan.

South Sudanese did not hate each other when the South was divided (Kokora) into ten States. In fact they fought as people of one destiny until the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) of January 2005. Similarly when Equatoria was divided (Kokora) into three States concrete walls were never erected between Eastern, Central and Western Equatoria State.

From the elaboration made it is hoped that a better understanding of Kokora is generated for an intellectual debate that will promote mutual understanding.

Kokora often misunderstood
In a pamphlet titled Decentralization: A Necessity For The Southern Provinces of The Sudan published in 1981, the author said, “Political leadership, with a strong tribal orientation having satisfied themselves that the only way to remain in power is to fan tribal loyalties from their tribe, which they believe must dominate because of sheer numbers, are now turning around to point a finger at those who want to correct the situation as power hungry politicians.”

The author went on to say, “The basic problem that bedevils any heterogeneous society like ours is how to attain unity. In most cases unity is attained by recognizing and accepting the principle of living in diversity.”

It was evident that the author of the pamphlet was initiating decentralization (Kokora) in the then three southern provinces which were known as the Southern Region after the Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972. The agreement gave the three southern provinces of the Sudan self-government.

However, in the 10 year period of the self-government problems mounted without a solution in sight. One major problem was the perceived domination of the self-government by one ethnic group. For example, the High Executive Council of the self-government consisted of 50 per cent of people from the one ethnic group. How that could be in a region of over sixty ethnic groups?

In addition, it was alleged that records of intake into administration, police and prisons colleges, and records of promotions would have revealed some painful facts about institutionalized tribalism in the Southern Region. Given the above scenarios any initiative on decentralization (Kokora) would have been an unattractive proposition to those who perceived they were being targeted.

As the decentralization of the three southern provinces was initiated mostly by people of Equatoria and the word Kokora was used, a Pandora box of misunderstandings, misinterpretations and fears was opened.

Kokora was misunderstood as the kicking out of non-Equatorians to their ancestral lands. Arguably, Kokora should have been understood as decentralization and a development tool to bring services closer to the people. Kokora had nothing to do with uprooting people. On the contrary it should have been seen as a fair way of distributing resources and services to the people. In short Kokora should be seen as an equivalent of decentralization, nothing more or less.

The author of the pamphlet who was not a member of the Karo did not mention Kokora. How Kokora entered into people’s vocabulary is not clear. I am sometimes amused when people even do not know how to pronounce Kokora.

Kokora grossly misinterpreted
Kokora has been grossly misinterpreted as the hatred of non-Equatorians in Equatoria. Any mention of Kokora is often viewed with contempt and suspicion, and any argument for Kokora will produce a harsh criticism from those who are not only ignorant but frightened.

The slightest of reference to Kokora is enough to trigger an immediate barrage of condemnation. This is partly because of the gross misinterpretation of Kokora. The word Kokora has been misused.

As Kokora was initiated by the people of Equatoria as the decentralization of the three southern provinces, the non-Equatorians who strenuously opposed the decentralization of the provinces had a grudge to settle. The gross misinterpretation is on as people are still reacting harshly at what is perceived as a hint of Kokora.

The relative peace and security in Equatoria, and the civility of the people are so attractive that Kokora is grossly misinterpreted as kicking people out of beautiful and attractive Equatoria.

Kokora most feared
It is common knowledge that insecurity in the other greater regions is rampant. In contrast Greater Equatoria has been a peaceful region and this has been attracting inward migration where people feel secure living among the civilized people of Equatoria.

However, the problem is that most of those of pastoralist background always misbehave, for example, in shamelessly grabbing people’s lands with no respect for the law. There are always legal ways of acquiring a piece of land but land grabbers want a shortcut because of a culture that seems to condone unruly behaviour.

The people of Equatoria are predominantly sedentary farmers and are very conscious not to infringe on others land. In contrast pastoralists are often in perpetual wars with each other over grazing land because the concept of a boundary may hardly exist. Insecurity among pastoralists may therefore be more rampant than among sedentary farmers.

In Equatoria, non-Equatorians may hardly worry about insecurity. This may explain why Kokora is most feared and misinterpreted as the forced removal of non-Equatorians from guaranteed peace and security in Equatoria. If there is insecurity in Equatoria it is mostly caused by non-Equatorians.

A law is needed to regulate relationship between pastoralists and sedentary farmers for both may not be good neighbours, thereby aggravating insecurity.

Addressing fear of Kokora
People should not be unduly fearful of or worried about Kokora. It is a perception problem that can easily be addressed. It is a matter of understanding clearly what Kokora is in order to develop a positive frame of mind. Kokora is decentralization and it is difficult to see how decentralization can be most feared.

Decentralization does not mean throwing people out of their property or residence to relocate to their ancestral lands. Decentralization is the bringing of government and services closer to the people regardless of their ethnic background.

The most feared of Kokora is nothing but paranoia for some past bad experience. At any rate those who continue to fear Kokora are living in the past. Since Kokora took place in 1983 a lot have happened.

South Sudan is no longer three regions but has been divided (Kokora) into 10 self-governing states. The next step is for the states to be elevated to a federal status to boost development for a high standard of living.

The question one may be tempted to ask is, why isn’t there a fear of South Sudan having been divided (Kokora) into 10 States instead of the perpetual fear of South Sudan divided (Kokora) into three regions some thirty years ago?

The exaggerated fear of Kokora could be because people simply do not want to understand what Kokora means or people do not want to have a second thought.

Conclusion
Kokora is feared most because of the paranoia that it divides people. This is, however, unfounded because according to the definition of Kokora it is basically an equitable way of distributing power and wealth among stakeholders. The bad experience of Kokora in 1983 when it was implemented should not be taken that Kokora is divisive. It was then a politically charged atmosphere that animosities were unnecessarily created.

The people of South Sudan will never be divided the way Kokora is feared. Even prophets such as Moses, Jesus and Mohamed, peace be upon them, walking along the shores of the Nile couldn’t have divided the people of South Sudan. This is not an overstatement or an ambitious assertion. The evidence is there for all to see.

The National Congress Party (NCP) of the radical Islamic fundamentalists used all the known tricks they could master to divide the people of South Sudan but failed miserably. Over 98 per cent of the people were solidly united because they strongly felt they were of one destiny. People voted for independence.

In conclusion, the people of South Sudan should not waste their energy worrying unnecessarily about Kokora but instead should be worrying about indiscipline and institutional weaknesses in the various components of the system that is the real danger to unity.

Decentralization which is Kokora in the Karo language is universally accepted as an appropriate factor of good governance.

Revolutionaries should give credit to the Karo of Central Equatoria State and indeed Greater Equatoria for being farsighted and the real architects of unity of South Sudan. END

For how long will President Kiir fly on Ethiopian and Kenyan Airliners?

BY: Holy Crook (alias), JUBA, RSS, JAN/28/2013, SSN;

Wait a minute. I have a confession to make: I’m a fool, the greatest fool of all times. I’ve been a fool. Due to this folly, I’ve been relying on my President for protection. I’ve always counted on him to protect my life and of my children, relatives and South Sudanese in general.

Alas! I was wrong. If the President of the Republic, Salva Kiir, is insecure, who am I to complain about the growing insecurity situation in South Sudan? Who am I to rely on him? If my President sweats and panics every time he exits and returns to the country, who the hell am I to question why civilians are killed on a daily basis in Juba, in Wau and in the whole country?

If the President doesn’t care about his own personal security, life, why do I expect him to protect me? I’m a big fool. Don’t you agree with me? Is he safe? How safe is he?

Relax. The President is safe and there is no potential danger at all.

Do you ask yourself why insecurity is deteriorating in the country? Do you wonder why women and even 14-year-old girls are unarguably systematically raped in Juba and beyond?

Do you know why many citizens spend sleepless nights due to constant attacks and burglaries staged by armed and uniformed men? This is simply because the president himself is insecure; (I know I just assured you that he is safe). So, how do you expect somebody who does not value security to protect you? It is like asking a pauper for a piece of bread.

World nations maintain one or more special planes to transport or fly their heads of state and other senior government officials. There are so many reasons why they do this. One of them is security concern which happens to be the most important one. Another one is prestige. For South Sudan’s case, trash prestige.

My point is: why does Mister President depend on hired commercial planes? Why does he fly on a chartered jet?

Come on. It has been seven and half years now. For how long will our beloved President continue to use Ethiopian and Kenyan airliners? Is it lack of money? Is it that he is too humble to have a presidential private jet? What exactly is gagging the old man?

South Sudan just emerged out of a bloody civil war which killed millions and displaced over four million others. Besides, the same people we have been at war with are still as violent as Islamic Radicals.

Practically, we are still at war with Sudan. Ask the people of Mile 14, Renk and Raja. And our borders are as porous and dangerous as ever.

The world economy is at the verge of collapse. No, it has already collapsed. This is sending all types of people- the bad, the good and the ugly – to South Sudan, which they believe is the new business hub. The influx of these questionable foreign nationals bespeaks a serious concern.

Most of these people are running away from their countries for a reason, just one reason – poverty. They are very desperate. That means they can do anything for money.

South Sudan charters a plane every time the Cowboy has to travel outside, to and fro. The common planes are the Kenya’s KQ and the Ethiopian Airways. He’s flown on these jets a million times. How safe is this type of transport? How much do we’ve to trust our cousins?

I’m not saying the two airliners can do us any premeditated harm but I would like you to look beyond the horizon. Think.

I know that many world leaders chose to travel on commercial flights, like the rest of the great unwashed. Australian Prime Minister John Howard, for instance, has his own plane but sits in an ordinary aircraft seat, rather than a reclining sofa. New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clarke, flies Air New Zealand. That’s fine.

And Malawian President Joyce Banda is an extraordinary woman. She travels by scheduled commercial liners. However, the beauty of this is that the said heads of states fly on their respective nations’ commercial planes, say, Air New Zealand or Air Australia.

Look around. All of our neighboring countries, including broke ones, have presidential jets. President Kibaki trudges in and out of his fifty-million-dollar Fokker 70. Museveni swaggers in a forty-point-two-million-dollar Gulfstream G550 private plane. This is very convenient for them. This special jet, say, Museveni’s, is serviced in Uganda by Ugandans. It’s kept in a hangar managed by Ugandans. It’s watched by Ugandan security agents.

Can South Sudan afford to buy a cheaper jet for the head of the state? Yes it can. I know the government is broke but there is an alternative – just squeeze hundreds of millions of dollars out of the four billion stolen by the seventy-five thieves.

I acknowledge the destructive monetary effects that come with a presidential jet but what difference would it make? The government has had its hand on billions of oil money all these years but it could not use it appropriately.

In actual sense, if we sum up all the money the state has spent on President Kiir’s chartered flights since 2005, the amount could buy a jet more expensive than Kibaki’s. Even if it would mean buying a second-hand plane, the parliament should do something.

South Sudanese would be more comfortable and relaxed to see the plane their President flies piloted by the sons and daughters of the soil.

Need I remind you of the past fishy events involving influential people in Eastern Africa, even our own? No, I don,t think so.

(NB. The author, who is authentic, has opted to use an alias for his own security.)

Kiir’s period from 2005-2012: Any similarities to Hitler?

BY: DENG DUOT DENG (DENG-Ajith), Queensland, AUSTRALIA, JAN/27/2013, SSN;

The period of 1920 to 1933 and even few years after the war was over was a time of political uncertainty, economic instability and social confusion for Germany. The Weimer government was very unpopular amongst the Germany people during this period as it was blamed for the many complications Germany faced. Many Germans saw it as incompetent and incapable of governing Germany effectively. This time was ripe for Hitler with his high intellectual military statute.

Consequently, there was a common longing amongst the various classes within Germany for a powerful and radical leader to return their country to strength and wealth; and return their sense of pride as a nation and a race. Hitler realized these desires of the German people. He exploited the climate of despair and despondency to gain the support of the disillusioned in every class, with his attractive policies and decisive promises of the action.

On the one hand, South Sudan was in the same situation Germany was in it throughout those years. Gen. Kiir was nominated to lead the Sudan People Liberation Army/ Movement (SPLA/M) not because of his capabilities and his capacities. He was not nominated by the South Sudanese people to stand after their political direction. But he was appointed due to the political climate of rebel movement at the time. This was after the fatal plane crash that killed the charismatic leader, the late Dr. John Garang De Mabior. Moreover, this appointment was done because of the SPLA/M had the so-called policy of ‘SPLA/M seniority.’

Naturally, this policy usually stated people have to be nominated on the basis of their ranks in the rebel military and who followed who. There were many well qualified leaders like Dr. Lam and Dr. Riek Machar and other unforeseen individuals within the rebel movement. However, Gen. Kiir was put to be the chairman of SPLA/M in a few days as a result of fundamental principles of SPLA/M.

Also, there were groupings with in the SPLA/M movement. Others classified themselves as late Garang Boys while others like Dr. Lam Akol and Dr. Riek Machar were raising stars who believed they were capable to lead the movement based on their education, prestige and military rank as well.

This was the same manner, Hitler selected his military personnel and others who’re close and did not like previous Weimer governance of Germany system of government.

Well, it’s what exactly happened in South Sudan or within the SPLA/M. There was this belief that if any other person was nominated to lead the SPLA/M like Dr. Lam Akol or Riek Machar, they will lead SPLA/M back to Khartoum under a united Sudan.

Apparently, I was one of the people who believed in that principle of not electing Dr. Lam and Dr. Riek Machar. Not only that, there were also some allegations which were true like the 1991 SPLA/M split. Yet neither Kiir nor Riek Machar were my best interests to lead the movement.

I think the appointment of Kiir to lead the rebel movement was an assumption and confusion of the inner circle members of the SPLA/M at time. Gen. Kiir was only a good person during the movement because he just followed the direction of another man called Late John Garang who was the head of SPLA/M since it was first founded in 1983.

The Weimer Government was seen to have failed, once again in the eyes of the German people. As a result, the German people desired a powerful and active leader to return their nation’s dignity and wealth.

No question about that, we got South Sudan Independence through the hard work of all the South Sudanese across the World. Under whosoever leadership, we were still going to get a popular vote to be a separate nation, no matter. I can give Kiir credit here and there because that was under his leadership any way. But the question remains.

Gen. Kiir Government got independence and what next? Likewise, Hitler got the land back that the German people hoped he will get. He even went further to make few invasions. Meanwhile, Gen. Kiir current administration has given away our land like the 14 miles South of the river in Northern Bhar Eh Gahar. Leave alone the other lands being sold out to foreigners without public consultation. Every single agreement the SPLM Party makes with the Khartoum government results in us as South Sudanese losing against the North.

This is evident because we as South Sudanese are complaining but the Khartoum administration with their public besides them are celebrating in the streets of their Capital and local towns.

Given all this reasons makes me to draw my conclusion that the current administration has failed and will continue to fail if kept in power for too long. It is a time for us South Sudanese to come out and do some standing and make change for good cause not by brutality like the Arab-spring and other unnecessary systems. The belief of democratic value is to hold non-violent system.

In the same way, Hitler also appealed to a common hatred amongst the German people. This was a hatred of Jews. Likewise, Kiir’s current administration is playing the same game Hitler played against the Jews. The death of Lawyer Akuac Jok and now the death of political writer, Isaiah Abraham, showed that Generals-turned-politicians’ government is waging war against the media of South Sudan.

Jews were business people who made the economy of the Germany work and running well. The same to Journalists in South Sudan, whatever they said against government will make our government work really hard to provide us with what we expect from them.

This SPLM Party must consider the voice of South Sudanese on matters in wider views. It is the most influence things that can happen in any nation. Also our south Sudanese people who are giving their best analytic and expressed their views on national issues are facing death as consequence and threatening messages to silence them. This is what Kiir’s government is capable of doing.

Furthermore, Hitler earned the support of many Germans through his fierce determination to expel the communist threat to Germany. In doing so, Hitler appealed to industrialist and upper-class landowners in particular. Consequently, through their promises and efforts to crush communism, Hitler acquired the support of the industrialist and upper-class landowners who saw him as a strong and radical leader able to save Germany from communist revolution.

The South Sudanese elected the current President of the Republic of South Sudan with his co-generals into power in 2010. There was misleading SPLA/M Party ideology if Gen. Kiir administration was voted out, we’d face the consequence of voting for unity. The SPLM also accused other Parties, for example SPLM-DC, as being with the rebel groups or they are going to vote for unity government.

It was not whether Kiir has performed well or not. They made a lot of campaign if you stand as an independent person trying to challenge the SPLM Party member with their Military wing of SPLA. They will call you a rebel or that you are being backed by the Khartoum government.

If I can re-call it well, Dr. Luka Biong Deng came to Australia after the general elections took place. He was asked to speak to South Sudanese residents in Queensland by the SPLM chapter Leaders. This event took place at the Multicultural Development Association (MDA) Headquarters in Brisbane South bank. He briefed people really well as to how all the SPLM Party run-up won their seats.

He further mentioned that, “the only independent Governor who won the elections was from Western Equatorial and he is not from the SPLM Party.” He further added that they, SPLM Party, “knew him, the governor, very well and that because we knew him very well, he can stand behind the SPLM Party rules and principles.”

From that point, I knew they made huge corruption and I told my friend who was sitting next to me that this government has committed crime called “corruption.”

From this perspective, the same happened to the governor of Unity state that he loss governorship to Mrs. Angelina Macher. Also, in Jonglei, Kuol Manyang Juuk did not allowed George Athor Deng to campaign in some counties such as Twic East. So by any means necessary, this was planned corrupt system. I hope we didn’t fight for them to come and make this massive corruption. If we talked like we do now, they’ll kill us lik Isaiah Abraham.

I draw my proclamation that Gen. Kiir’s administration is exactly the same as Hitler Administration was in Germany. The governor of Jonglei is keeping silent while Isaiah Abraham is from his state. There has been heartless cold blooded murders and assassination taking place in Juba capital without any cause. The Jonglei government must condemn the killing of innocent people in such a way. What makes him became a governor if he does not respond in this difficult time?

There was an extract from a 1930 Nazi propaganda pamphlet which stated: ‘We are nationalists because we, as Germans, love Germany. And because we love Germany, we demand the protection of it national spirit, and we battle against its destroyers.’

This was also evident from the SPLM Party of South Sudan. They used to tell and continuously telling us, “We are the Party who fought for your freedom and brought about the comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).” They created all those well-written songs of Red-Army and Koriyom battalions. They went further with that un-meaningful slogan of SPLA/M Oyee, South Sudan Oyee and finally anyone can use that slogan in any function.

But the only thing they forgot was that we the people of South Sudan took up armed and fought against Khartoum regime. This is without thinking there was going to be a Juba regime where power is then given to inner circle and misapplied in a context affecting the citizens. It was not about SPLM Party vision and set of rules. We fought under united rebel group not being SPLM Party that was not essential theme of our freedom fighters.

Equally important, Hitler promised the peasants economics and relief. The youth of Germany were attracted by Hitler’s impressive promise to make the fatherland and motherland glorious once more. His administration conjured a sense of purpose and reason for hope in the future of many young Germans.

Comparable with us, the current administration or the political Party SPLM is way behind the Nazi? Why? This is because SPLM never listened to it peasant and other classes within the South Sudanese society. For instance, the recent agreements that were signed in Ethiopian capital never valued the need of pubic submission. The 14 miles approximately 22.5 kilometers was given away without proper reasoning.

The problem of 25 per cent Women in the SPLA/M Party.
However, the 25% of women the SPLM party promised to represent them in the assembly is heartless lie. This is because the minister’s wives and single mothers who have closed relationship with the ministers in the Government of South Sudan are the ones now earning that 25% representation. Which means, this not a government, it is only about friendship and closed relatives to be chosen instead of well qualified person who can speak out and can make a lot of changes.

I hope there will be an election to come one day. We will justify our happiness by taking out every single one of them from power especially the SPLM Party corrupted members. I can see they totally forgot us. I promise we will never forget every single problem the SPLM Party has done to the entire nation of South Sudan.

I doubt none of these SPLM Party members understood what it means to be a democratic society and live in a country where people have the back up support. They are taking wrong approaches and useless measures like the shooting and killing of people who are speak out.

Well, we are brothers and sisters of the same nation who need better governing system. We acknowledge him for the time he had given himself to fight for our freedom during struggle. However, at this time we lost faith in the current way he is presiding the show. We applauded people when they had done great job.

Gen. Kiir is our president therefore, we have total right to admire him and blame him. Especially when things go wrong like the current state in our nation capital and in the streets of our local towns and villages. This political environment went beyond to foreign land like United States of America, Europe, Canada and here in Australia plus other regions in the entire World where South Sudanese are residing.

My brothers and sisters, if you are defending this government of Kiir and Riak, I can quite frankly tell you that you are wasting your time. The SPLM Party does not belong to any single tribe or ethic group like Dinka, Nuer or Equatoria plus other small tribes within Republic of South Sudan.

Let’s deal with Gen. Kiir administration in democratic style. The current leaders can go tomorrow and we will remain as 77 tribe of South Sudan and the next leader or criminal can come from one of the 77 communities within the Republic of South Sudan. I recommend defend your ‘SPLM Party’ and absolutely forget about Kiir as a person.

The disagreement within the SPLA/M during the struggle
Remember, to Late Dr. John Garang, we blamed his administration like the way they murdered highly education people like Judge Martin Majier Gai. Under Garang administration, their mismanagement which has led to the disagreement of so many important people and greater fighters like Late Arok Thon Arok, Late William Nyoun Bang an finally Kerubino Kauyin Bol. They were arrested and detained without a single crime they had committed.

These people never killed civilians like the way Dr. Riak Machar ordered and murdered thousands of people and he is now currently serving as vice President in the current administration of Gen. Kiir. I acknowledged Kuir E Garang, who stated that, “we will hold them accountable even if they reach 90 years old.”

Keep in your mind the Germans political outcome after the war ended, there was the Nuremberg Trials in the aftermath, the first international war crimes trial to be held, it took place between 1945 and 1949. The reason behind the choice of Nuremberg as a venue was significant as it was there that the Nazi party had held its annual rallies.

There will be a trial which I can suggest to be called the Nasir trial which will embrace Dr. Riak Machar Teny accountable for his wrong doings. He never justified what made him split and killed innocent children, old women and men. If it was because he disagreed with Late Dr. John Garang, why not disagree like Late Arok Thon Arok and William Nyoun with their followers.

Consequently, Dr. Riak, would not be the sacrifice in the eyes of the South Sudanese public due his crime he had committed. I think Riak is meeting the Geneva Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Abolition of the Statute of Limitations on War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.

The recent trial conducted by International Criminal Crime (ICC) of former Bosnia Chief intelligence officer who commanded the battalion that led to cold-blooded murder of thousands of Bosnia-Muslims in early 1990s. I think Dr. Riak Machar would remember that part of history since it took place at the time he was killing large number of innocent people.

In brief, it is clear that Hitler with his administration beside him appealed to the many and varied classes within Germany. He utilized the environment of political and economic confusion and despair within Germany during the period of 1920 to 1933 to accomplish the support of the various classes.

Consequently, Hitler gained so much political support as it seemed he was the one capable of solving their problems, and of returning Germany to prosperity and strength.

On the whole, South Sudan has experienced political uncertainty, economic instability; social challenges which are facing this young nation. These matters have become part of the South Sudanese culture due to lack of improvement from the current administration. There are millions of natural resources on the ground which can result in advancement this young nation. By this time, the international investors would have started moving in with their national business. But the current system is not capable of using their brain power in perfect way so the country can progress sensibly.

Finally, the Generals turned politicians’ period of Kiir as President of Republic of South Sudan since 2005 to 2012 has been full disappointment to South Sudanese. Instead of him using his brains to developed a nation and defend the nation from the aggression from Sudanese Army Force (SAF), he turned to his own people like the recently killing of political commentator named Isaiah Abraham (Diing Chan Awuol). This is categorically a bad government, with bad system and bad policies. At the same time, bad people like Gen. Kiir and Dr. Machar. They eliminated high profile persons like Hitler’s administration.

Thanks,
By: DENG DUOT DENG (Deng-Ajith)
Deng Duot Deng is a South Sudanese. He is residing in Queensland, Australia. He can be reached at email, deng_bior@hotmail.com

Solutions to Lakes state inter-clans’ fighting

BY: Bullen Bol, RSS, JAN/27/2013, SSN;

The inter-clans’ fighting in the Lakes state is not something new, I can called it a recurrent phenomenon. During the liberation struggle until now the state has been seen in several inter-tribal clashes. One may ask himself thus, why has Lakes state become a battle field over the years than any other state in which heads of cattle are reared?

Don’t worry yourself thinking much, this article will explore why the state has been involved in series of fighting, recommendations will also be availed, recommendations which are suitable for Lakes state’s problem and which may be relevant to any other state in which heads of cattle are reared.

The fighting has been recurrent because the following root causes have not been addressed in a satisfactory manner.

Wrangles over the grazing and water points
Grazing areas known as toch in Dinka language, has been a major source of problem, it was because of grazing land that caused fighting within Yirol East county in Lakes state particularly over the ownership of Amethmangon cattle camp early in 2007, and now it is the grazing land that has been responsible for the fighting between Agar communities.

Fighting concerning the ownership of the grazing lands ownership will continue to be a source of fighting as long as the ownership of a grazing land in question is not defined satisfactorily.

The claim for being superior by either clan
This has been seen as one of the causes of fighting not only in Lakes state but also among many Dinka tribes especially cattle keepers. Each clan can claim to be superior than the other clan in terms of fighting, the self-claimed superior clan can begin to ask questions like, “since when has clan X defeated us?”

Therefore, the need to maintain historical superiority by cattle keepers accounts for fighting.

Dowry problems
We have been observant over the years that dowry has been a source of fighting in Lakes state, if you can recall the inter-clans fighting in Cueitbet county in 1995 in which numerous people were killed, was dowry-related fight.

You can notice that it is because girls are married with a lot of cows that makes elopement of a girl to immediately trigger fierce fighting because an eloped girl is considered to have depreciated in value and parents of such a girl can be infuriated by the act since they will lose considerable number of cows with such a perceived loss of their daughter’s marital value.

At Yirol East roughly in 2008, fighting happened between Atuut of Yirol West county and Ciec of Yirol East county because a person had given out his calf in compensation of the debt, so when his calf turned out to be bigger and admirable, he returned and retook it, thereby provoking fierce fighting of that year. The owner probably admired it to be the best cow for his possible marriage.

It is because of the dowry problems that many carry out cattle raiding into the neighboring counties or states in search for cows necessary for marriages, for instance, Nuer and Dinka tribes have been doing that over the years.

Presence of weapons (rifles and others) in hands of the civilians
The presence of numerous ammunition in the hands of the cattle keepers has made cowards who would have not initiated the fight when they were using spears, to initiate the fight; this can also be true with cattle thieves.

Nobody could dare to go as far as Agar cattle camps to steal cows because he knows very well that he alone with his spear as a weapon cannot do any harm to the people whom he has stolen cows from in order to protect himself, besides, with spears as weapon, the thief may fear of his security because when he is caught with cows, he would be killed or he could narrowly escape death.

What perplexed me every time there is inter-clans fighting is where do civilians get weapons from after the disarmament? Do they get them from soldiers or are they obtained from relatively peaceful states? Do they get them from Khartoum or are they (weapons) obtained from the neighboring countries?

Are the rebels behind the resurfacing of weapons after disarmament? The list of questions is endless.

Having explored the above causes of the fight among cattle keepers in Lakes state, I would therefore like to give the following recommendations:

Simultaneous disarmament is all states that neighbored lakes States
A national disarmament program should be carried out simultaneously with priority given to states where heads of cattle are reared. This will allow civilians to willingly offer their guns to the disarmament team easily without hesitation because they will not be fearful of any possible attack from the neighboring states or counties.

The failure to carry out disarmament in states where possible attack is expected from is one of the reasons why reserve guns are kept by cattle keepers. The collected guns should be monitored to see whether there is a leakage or not i.e. illegal re-sale of the collected arms.

Executive chiefs should be brought closer to state government
By bringing executive chiefs closer to government, I meant, they should be fully employed with full salary, they should weekly report to their leader whom I can proposed to be a real judge appointed by the governor. They should be availed with motor-cycles so that transport should not be a hindrance to their weekly reporting.

Among their duties should be a task to monitor security in the cattle camps, they should acts as government spies as far as who wants to fight who and when are they likely to fight. Also, they cannot do this alone but they can be assisted by cattle camp leaders, sub-chiefs, and good leaders. All the leaders that work with him should also have telephones and transport materials like bicycles for good leaders and motor bikes for sub-chiefs, executive chiefs and cattle camp leaders.

The telecommunications networks should ensure that the whole of the State is covered, cattle camps inclusive.

Recently, clan fighters dodged where the SPLA soldiers were deployed with use of a mobile phone, that was why the fighting erupted in the cattle camp first but ended up intensifying in the villages leaving soldiers in the cattle camp.

By implementing this proposed measure, the government of state will all the times be updated about the entire state. When there is a looming threat, chiefs can easily enlighten the government and possible action can easily be taken immediately. This will enable the government intervene immediately, besides, the moral of the chiefs will be so heightened since they would be part and parcel of the government of state.

Rules should also be enacted so that whenever the chief goes astray in fulfilling his duties, he could be removed by governor’s decree.

Formulating and implementing laws which are more less jungle laws
Since our people do not act in line with stipulated laws which are in the constitution i.e. that is by pursuing legal procedures in settling disputes among themselves such as grazing land issues, and general aggression matters, I propose that ring leaders on both sides who initiate fighting should be made to compensate whoever was killed in the clans’ fighting.

They should also be arrested in harsh prisons so that their mistreatment becomes a lesson to others who may in future want to break legal procedures in settling disputes. With those laws in place, many may fear to bring both sides together in the context of initiating the fight.

If the number of those who were killed is exactly the same as the number of ring leaders, the ring leaders should be shot dead publicly i.e. inviting villages, make them sit down, finally the ring leaders should be shot dead in the presence of the public which is made to sit. But this process should be free from political support (where politicians take sides), this in my opinion should apply to thieves that steal heads of cattle, murders and any other crimes that correspond with such punishment.

This policy was used in the past and it had proved to be more effective in reducing the cattle theft and other crimes in Lakes state, so it is a matter of reviving the past method of governance.

Marriage laws
Many marriage-related laws are now in place in Lakes state and possibly in all four states of greater Bhar el Ghazal, for instance, 11 cows are paid to the parents of impregnated girl as cows for soothing the angry in-laws; seven cows are paid as punishment for having committed adultery.

All these laws are good but, however, the fact that marriage in Lakes state goes up to 300 cows for a competitive marriage makes the youth indulge themselves in stealing cows, cattle raiding, etc… so that they can accumulate more cows to meet such competitive marriage demands, because that is a factor which is fueling those crimes which culminate into a serious fight.

I recommend that: if a person steals one cow, he has to pay eight in return when confirmed a thief. Also, surveillance military base should be situated in the border of both states (Unity and Lakes) so that they will constantly monitor the security of the cattle and possible fighting that may erupt in the process of cattle rustling.

The maximum number of cows payable to the in-laws should range from 20 to 50 regardless of competition and the beauty of the girl. This will reduce of cows to meet expensive bride price. However, so this policy be effective, our leaders, such as executive chiefs, sub-chiefs to state government officials, should act as role models to the entire public.

Finally, the government should woo investors to invest in agribusiness so that considerable amount of redundant villagers are employed. Government can also invest alongside foreign investors. But government investment is meant reviving of old Sudan factories such as oil factory in Yirol west, establishment of irrigation schemes and infrastructural development.

These should not be only in Lakes state but also in other areas such greater Equatoria, greater Upper Nile and greater Bhar el Ghazal regions. When that is done, the youth will find no time to engage in fighting but rather they will care so much about their jobs.

At this juncture, I can robustly argue that it is because of lack of economic activities that the youth are engaged in these successive inter-clans fighting over the years. So, my appeal to the government is that it should create employment opportunities in agriculture and road construction when its current economic problems happen to change. No development without peace and no peace without economic activities that earn a living .

By Bullen Bol.
You can reach the writer by mail: bolmathieng2011@hotmail.com

Dismissal and readmission: A case of waste recycling in Kiir’s government

BY: Marial Mach Aduot Mach, AUSTRALIA, JAN/27/2013, SSN;

Like all other South Sudanese reading the news of our president firing all the generals deputizing the SPLA chief of general staff and more others in the regular army as well as the dismissal of Lakes State governor, it greeted me with mixed feelings.

Firstly, I was amused and dismayed given the analysis I made in my mind. The greater joy was that our president whom I have been assuming to be politically brain-dead was showing some signs of recuperating, and like a child learning how to walk, he slowly learns the courage to make tough choices. He needs to have that in the first place anyway.

Secondly, I also agree with the president that our army needs reform, hence reserving more than twenty generals is still too little though, but it is long overdue. Given the conventional transformation of military across the globe, it is not only necessary for a country to have a minimum, well trained and armed forces but it is a pre-condition of a supposedly capable modern army.

Feel free to call it an exaggeration, but the tendency in our country where everybody wants to be a soldier would eventually make this young nation another North Korea in Africa.

As a person born in the age of SPLA, I am holding no doubts about its effectiveness, but in contrast to the current state of our economy, a gigantic army is costly to manage financially and judicially.

People can count the events which took place in South Sudan between the army and the people it’s supposed to protect, such as rape, torture and looting and murder, you name them. These are the results of the army which was trained and still being trained to shoot but not to uphold the rule of law.

Reducing the size of the army in my view can be on the card; hence more is needed to be done than just demoting generals and promoting some. That is not change! It is called a recycling of waste, if I may give it the name.

Demoting and promotions general without a proper proceedings of how the general army is going to move forward shows undoubtedly that our leader is not fully recovered from its long-term political concussion it suffers as he rose to the rank…?

Don’t get me wrong! Presidential political medics are doing a great work bringing back the man we assumed critics pronounced political dead, but more is needed to be done especially in the government. The men and women who are holding the ministerial posts need some sophistication or perhaps polishing.

Some of them are too rusty, including the nation’s foreign minister which I assume because of his defects or rustiness, has chosen to mute the South Sudan in international arena. It is disgraceful of course.

Not only that, what have dismayed me very much is bestowed in two events– the promotion of recently dismissed general Pieng Deng Kuol as the South Sudan police chief and the sucking of Lakes State elected governor are very disgusting.

Gen. Pieng Deng is a gentleman of course, and very a decorated war hero, but seeing him as the chief inspector of South Sudan police is like seeing a dog on a roller-skate. The guy is a military general who may perhaps know little or nothing on how to deal with policing aspects. God help us! He may have a good military experience, but I doubt if he can even understand the role of police and its technical work.

This means that in the next four years, as they said, our internal security well being will continue to be looked through the toilet-paper roll like the previous years. That is not a change, it is simply a recycling of waste.

Finally, the striking event on my part and a delusional decision on the part of president is the sacking of Lakes state governor. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying Chol Tong is an exceptional leader, but people elected him. The reason of his sacking is not said publicly, but it is assumed that the demise of Chol Tong has something to down with security situation in the state.

Well, that maybe the case, but if he is dismissed because of that, question would that, is he the only governor that actually failed that duty?

Prove me wrong, but if people were to be fired for mishandling state’s security, I would have guess that our failed delinquent general in Jonglei should have been sacked three times already. What we have in Jonglei is beyond imagination and the reason why Gen. Kuol Manyang Jok remains in his post until today comes as another weak point of president Kiir. He is so naïve or feels inferior to some of his former army generals counter-parts, now in charge of States; it’s obviously ridiculous and horrendous.

People wonder why the removal of a governor concerned me a lot. Well, first it is an assault on democracy. Issuing presidential decrees, (very idiotic, by the way) to dismiss an elected official does not reflect well for the meaning of elections and the function of electorates who ordain the governance. It is the holiest move by the president pueblos’ dogs, but it a tragedy to the people hoping for public voices.

In fact, people of Lakes State are being bullied and disrespected by the president who is running the country with an expired transitional constitution. RIP!

Secondly, it shows that leaders in our country are not psychologically well, and intellectually impeded to understand that the responsibility of removing an elected official can only took place in a competent court of law, which we don’t have anyway, and through the people who elected them. These two organs are empowered by a clear margin of law and that is simply breached by our commander in chief, sheep, cheap or shift, whatever.

I would have not been yapping or even dreaming of doing that, if the Governor Chol Tong was shown the door by the citizens of Lakes State by converging to the polling stations and substitutinged him or if he was impeach for a supposed crime of stealing a quarter of our missing four billions dollars. That could be in correlation with the constitution.

So, is the act of our president justified at all? How and on what basis?

Marial Mach Aduot is a South Sudanese residing in Australia, Melbourne. He can be reached at pandepiol@yahoo.com

It’s blasphemy with impunity as SPLM claims to be as clean as Jesus Christ!!

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, JAN/26/2013, SSN;

Lately South Sudan’s ruling party the SPLM has been struggling to balance its political books across the vast territory of the new country. As a party that is locally, regionally and internationally best known for corruption and impunity, it’s no wonder that most of the leadership of this embattled organization in the due course of trying to save its tail, it is in fact doing more damage to the party’s already tainted image than doing it any good.

Hon. Philip Thon Nyok a Member of Parliament representing Bor county in Jonglei State’s legislative assembly has recently acknowledged the fact that many citizens across the new nation have complained about poor basic services in the country, with leading politicians at the forefront blaming the government for the failure. (Sudan Tribune online Wednesday 23 January 2013).

However in spite of his confession during the SPLM caucus meeting in Bor, it was just unfortunate that the Honorable state MP chose to defend the party by directing his disappointments towards those members who are increasing becoming disillusioned with the party’s performance in the state and the country wide.

“A lost member of SPLM is the one who says SPLM is dying rather than saying that the members are not fulfilling their deputies,” he said.

Now just focusing on the above lines, one cannot miss to see that the SPLM is struggling with internal discontents almost everywhere and even so in its birthplace in Jonglei State and the historical Town of Mading Bor. At this juncture may be the SPLM leadership will do itself a favor by taking those whistle-blowers a bit seriously if they are to escape the otherwise inevitable degeneration and eventual demise of this party given its current appalling performances.

Up till here we will leave the SPLM fans to struggle with their own internal crisis, while we address the main reason for writing this article in the first place as summarized in the above title – blasphemy with impunity?

It is to some extent true that we in South Sudan would often want to identify ourselves with Christianity, especially the few who had a background of religious upbringing. And no wonder that some even proposed that new the country be named the “Republic of Cush” in conformity to a certain claimed prophecy. The problem is sometimes we tend to overdo our Christianity to the extent that it backfires.

A typical example of over christening is precisely demonstrated in Hon. Philip Thon Nyok’s description of the ailing SPLM party. The MP is no doubt an SPLM diehard, but how much does he cherish his Christian faith is now the issue of concern. Just read what he had to say at the Bor SPLM caucus meeting as he defended the party and I quote:

“There is the SPLM party and the members assigned to the organs of the party from the national level down to Boma levels. The party [SPLM] is clean like Jesus Christ, but the members in charge of the organs may be wrongdoers,” he said. www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-315990564.html

First of all to compare the SPLM party to Our Lord Christ is totally a weird move. The SPLM is a man-made organization littered with obvious defects and loopholes even in its camouflagingly brilliant mission statements, ideology and vision and just like any other concepts crafted by man through the entirety of history – it cannot be as perfect or even as clean as Our Lord Christ.

Who does Hon. PhilipThon Nyok think Jesus Christ is to allow for comparison with the SPLM?!!!! Doesn’t he believe that Jesus Christ is
a member of the Holy Trinity, that together form the one God? What’s going wrong with these people?!!!

The people of South Sudan might have failed for one reason or the other to challenge SPLM’s long list of incompetence, corruption, non-professionalism and inconsistencies, fix in the bud. Now the party has gone one step further to openly compare itself to God Almighty (Jesus Christ) in the most outrageous and blasphemous way, is this not a new concern? Are the true believers of the Christian faith going to stomach this without any due reaction?

Nonetheless I do agree with the Hon. MP about the need for unity with his ruling party. This is simply because unity is strength and if it can be realized at a family level, then a village level so can it be at the national level. Not to talk here about how it will as well contribute to the stability of the whole country and its various organizations. But it is indeed important to realize that there are conditions that every organization must fulfill if its members are to remain united. Unity doesn’t come for free.!

And again his argument about the south-ruling party being a “democratic” government, committed to developing the new nation without any external interference is obviously not true. Indeed South Sudan under the current SPLM led government remains a country that does not own its decision. As long as the country remains completely dependent on foreign aid, with foreign NGOs all over the place, basic food items coming from across the borders, then how do you fence off the external interference? And so far which development projects has the SPLM led government achieved or plans to achieve without an external influence?!!

The other statement that totality makes no sense is this one, I quote: “The SPLM party [way of] governance is democratic but should not be a meaningless democracy which will entertain South Sudan parties influenced by Khartoum just to impede the development of South Sudan.” End of quote.

Let’s face it fellow compatriots, is it true that there are parties in South Sudan which are influenced by Khartoum or our northern neighbor the republic of the Sudan, more than this ruling party the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)? Even the way the SPLM does things has metamorphosed into a mirror image of the notorious National Congress Party (NCP) of the fugitive Omer Hassan El Bashir.

It is this SPLM’s copycat of the NCP way of doing things that’s impeding the realization of any genuine democratic institutions in the country. It is the ruling party’s reactive policies that are denying South Sudan of any chances of development. But however should there exist other political groups out there with whom the SPLM is competing to win favor in the Sudan (North) which we don’t know, then that’s its problem and those of its likes.

And by the way for how long is SPLM is going to begging the Khartoum regime for the permission to export South Sudan’s Oil through Port Sudan? This should be the major external influence that Hon. Philip and his so-called clean party should be worried about. Continuing to accuse the neighboring Sudan of putting the government of South Sudan on a “rough” road as his Honorable chose to wind up his discontent is not a solution. What did he and his likes expect from the enemy?!!!

The SPLM’s attitude of referring to a certain meaningless democracy that even doesn’t exist under its leadership, and even to seen within the SPLM party as an organization, clearly suggests how intolerable the party is to others who hold differing views to others, be that within the party or with other political parties. This is not a party which should even in its wildest dreams think of comparing itself to Jesus Christ given what He (The Lord) stands for.

Last but not least, Hon. Philip Thon Nyok needs to acknowledge that his SPLM party is not any near to Lord Jesus Christ, and his reckless comparison between the two constitutes a frank act of blasphemy.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General – United South Sudan Party (USSP). He can be reached at: justin_ramba@aol.o.uk or justinramba@doctors.net.uk